Harrison Centner, a Forest Hills Eastern Senior, has been dancing ballet for ten years. He has been with the West Michigan Youth Ballet for the past three years and performing with and teaching classes at CARE Ballet for the past ten. His favorite memories include his summer intensives at the Joffrey Ballet and Ballet Chicago. He commented, “just meeting new people there has been cool, from all around the country and from outside the country too.” This past summer, he performed the 1st act of Serenade, Balanchine’s 1st ballet for the School of American Ballet, as Waltz Boy at his summer intensive at Ballet Chicago.
This weekend, Harrison will perform in The Nutcracker, which the West Michigan Youth Ballet puts on every year around the holidays. The ballet depicts a story about a young girl named Clara who receives a nutcracker from her godfather as a Christmas gift. At night, the Nutcracker comes to life to defeat giant mice that appear with the help of his toy soldiers. When they slay the Mouse King, with Clara’s help, the Nutcracker turns into a handsome prince and takes Clara to a magical land.
Harrison plays the Snow King and Spanish Lead, and the shows are Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 pm and 4:30 pm at the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center. The show also features Paige Endres, Sophie Ness, Hailey Sands, Sophia Vanderwied, and Ellie Everhart representing Eastern High School. They hope all their fellow classmates come to support them and see the beautiful ballet. Harrison says, “It’s a great time…the dancers are so good…If you want to see some good dancing, check it out!”
Harrison does not plan on continuing ballet professionally, but he would like to attend another summer intensive and dance recreationally in the future. When asked about his future plans, Harrison says he might study physics, but he is not sure. For now, he is enjoying dancing and is excited to perform in The Nutcracker for the last time